In front of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee Wednesday, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton maintained the responsibility that she’s assumed for the September 11 terror attacks in Benghazi for months now. Clinton admitted, “We are constantly assessing, and sometimes we get it wrong, but it’s very… it’s rare that we get it wrong.” She also added, “This was one of those terrible tragic times when, you know, there was an assessment shared by the ambassador, shared by others, that turned out not to take into account the militants attacking that night.”
What many GOP Senators assumed would be a continuous narrative that perpetuated the same, tired old Faux News talking points blaming the administration as a whole, and continuously beating the drum about whether or not the attacks were spurred by protests against an anti-Islam video, turned out to be something else entirely. It was Hillary Clinton, sternly reminding Senator Ron Johnson (R-Wis) what many of us have been screaming at the television, PC monitor, radio, and newspaper articles for months now: “What difference does that make?!”
Although the hearings began in a conciliatory and gratuitous tone, what started out as a testament by even her most ardent critics to her service and leadership eventually devolved into an ideological debate that prompted sometimes emotional, but measured and composed responses to those that sought to grill the Secretary for cheap political gain.
Johnson continually pressed Clinton on whether it was reported that the attacks sprang from spontaneous protests or a coordinated terror attack by Al Qaeda or related terror groups, and accusing her and the entire administration of misleading the American people. Secretary Clinton defiantly and rightfully responded with fervor and sternness that was reminiscent of a pissed-off President Bill Clinton when she responded, “With all due respect, the fact is we had four dead Americans! Was it because of a protest or was it because of guys out for a walk one night decided to go kill some Americans?!! What difference at this point does it make?!! It is our job to figure out what happened and do everything we can to prevent it from ever happening again, Senator.” She also expressed her sadness and was visibly emotional as she recalled standing with President Obama as they welcomed home their colleagues in “flag draped coffins.”
WATCH Secretary Clinton’s exchange with Johnson (story continues below):
Another critic, former failed presidential nominee and Senator John McCain (R-Az), also attempted to slam the Secretary. After the cordial greetings and niceties were done, McCain referred to Clinton’s replies to Senator Johnson, calling the answers “not satisfactory.” Secretary Clinton’s curt and courteous response reminded McCain again that, while she bore responsibility, congressional obstruction in procuring assets for added security greatly contributed to the tragedy as well. She also stressed to the Senator, who has been aiming pointed rhetoric at the entire administration since the incident took place, that in order to effectively deal with the continuing threat going forward, it was imperative that the administration and Congress “work together” to ensure safer diplomatic operations abroad in the future.
WATCH Secretary Clinton’s exchange with McCain (story continues below):
While Clinton continued to assume responsibility that any responsible public official would and should when security fails in a dangerous place, she also stressed focusing on the future, including what steps have been and will be taken to prevent and protect against attacks on embassies and other State Department facilities. She also acknowledged that dangerous conditions still exist in embassies worldwide, and warned of “serious and ongoing threats,” particularly in the northern region of Africa.
Perhaps the most critical and opportunistic of the Senators was Kentucky’s own “Aqua Buddha,” Senator Rand Paul. Paul is widely regarded as a likely 2016 candidate to take on another likely amusing gallery of GOP Presidential primary hopefuls in a campaign that is expected to start sometime late next year, but is apparently kicking off a tad early, judging by the apparent grandstanding by Paul in his presentation that masqueraded as questioning. Clinton looked rather amused as Senator Paul declared that if he were President, he would undoubtedly relieve Secretary Clinton of her duties. In his rambling, and sometimes irrelevant rant, Paul said of the victims of the attack, “Their lives could have been saved had someone been more available, had someone been more aware of these things, more on top of the job.” Indeed, if someone hadn’t continually denied funding for added embassy security, who knows what additional security forces might have been available. However, to ascertain that would mean looking introspectively, something that Senator Paul is undoubtedly incapable of.
What has been done by the State Department is the implementation of 29 recommendations by the Accountability Review Board tasked with finding shortcomings and making security recommendations. Clinton also asserted that with all the threats and high risk s, no one could anticipate what and where an incident could happen again. She also continually stressed the importance of taking action and allocating assets to ensure that such tragedies can be avoided in the future.
“We have to act on it, or shame on us,” Clinton declared.
Shame on us indeed! In particular, shame on those among us that believe that obstructionism and denial of anything and everything that comes to Capitol Hill that wasn’t proposed purely to obstruct, slander, hinder, and oppose the Democrats and the current administration.
In light of those denials of security funding, one might rightfully argue that the out of control “chucklehead,” anti-spending, fact-ignoring mentality of some Tea Party rubes in Congress are also responsible for the deaths of Christopher Stevens, Glen Doherty, Tyrone Woods, and Sean Smith. Perhaps the time has come for them to confirm their own roles and responsibility for the tragic events and deaths of these four distinguished gentlemen in Benghazi on September 11, 2012.
The fact is, the attack on Benghazi is a byproduct of an obstructive and ill-informed congress that’s bent on cutting spending regardless of whom might be adversely affected, and that is “not satisfactory.”